One of my favorite scenes from A Hard Day’s Night, John Lennon mocks the dancers as he heads to the stage, thumbing his nose at the stodgy dance choreography. The Beatles, along with Chuck Berry and Elvis, among others, were pecking away at the conventions of the stodgy entertainment of the post World War II world.
I see the Bonzo Dog Band as important in this regard. They attacked convention with satire, opening the doors wide open to mock the establishment with vaudevillian flair. They preceded Monty Python as the preeminent British entertainment satirists. Here they are performing “Death Cab For Cutie” in a scene from The Beatles movie Magical Mystery Tour:
Younger readers will note the origin of the Portland, Oregon band Death Cab For Cutie.
I was first introduced to the Bonzo Dog Band through my childhood friend’s father Bob Gex, whose cool music collection made a lasting impact on me. While my parents were into dixieland jazz, The Beatles and San Franciscan rock of the 60s, Bob had a complimentary collection of Rolling Stones and other influential artists. I don’t know if my friend Tim realizes this.
I always loved “The Intro and The Outro”, a song which continually introduces band members for three minutes and then fades. “Trouser Press” is very funny and was my first introduction to effeminate sounding men. “Jazz, Delicious Hot, Disgusting Cold” is Leonard Pinth Garnell, standing ovation bad. The Bonzos are clever and irreverent, an early liberalizing force in entertainment.
Here is the list of songs I have. The Bonzos were very prolific, so I’m sure I’ve left out somebody’s personal favorite:
The Intro And The Outro, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band ✭✭✭✭
Death Cab For Cutie, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band ✭✭✭
Trouser Press, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band ✭✭✭
Canyons Of Your Mind, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band ✭✭
Look Out, There’s A Monster Coming, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band ✭✭
Kama-Sutra, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band ✭✭
Cool Britannia, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band ✭✭
I Left My Heart In San Francisco, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band ✭✭
Mr. Apollo, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band ✭
Rhinocratic Oaths, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band ✭
I’m The Urban Spaceman, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band ✭
I’m Bored, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band ✭
Jazz, Delicious Hot, Disgusting Cold, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band
And for good measure:
I Will Possess Your Heart, Death Cab For Cutie ✭✭✭
I’m Happy Just To Dance With You, The Beatles ✭✭✭✭✭